A freelance contractor works inside a challenging workplace situation where designing a realistic working schedule is key toward achieving maximum effectiveness. In addition to creating that realistic schedule, it is vital that the freelancer diligently keeps to that schedule. There are several factors involved in creating the best effective schedule for your freelance contracting career. This article will address those steps and how to keep to that effective schedule in 2015.
1. Understand Your Clientele
A key factor in creating a realistic and effective freelance schedule is to be diligent in understanding your clientele. When you understand who your clients are and what they are seeking with regard to work product, you can better ascertain the specific times to work on their projects. This thought process will also open up or close certain freelance project opportunities. For example, if you work better during certain hours in the day, that will eliminate some clientele that you can work for. If you work better at night, you cannot take an assignment where you will be answering phones for a client during the normal business day. Take stock of the variables involved and make 2015 a more effective year for your contracting business.
2. Understand Your Methods
This second factor involves completely understanding yourself and how you work. For example, I am a freelance writer and work well in the afternoon and evening hours because I’m not a morning person. If you don’t work well at night, plan out your contracting projects so that you work more during the earlier hours of the day. The key is to be honest with yourself when you are planning the freelance schedule. The way you work and the services you offer must all line up with how well you function at various times during the day. Understanding yourself and your methods will help you to plan the best working schedule for 2015.
3. Understand Your Personal Boundaries
Another factor is that you understand your personal boundaries. For example, if you are single, you will have more time realistically to devote to your contracting business. For those freelancers with an active family life, that can become a key factor which may impact your freelance business in either a positive or negative way. If you want that impact to be positive, you must first ascertain your boundaries and when you can successfully block out time to complete projects. You will need to establish clear boundary lines for yourself, your clientele and your family. All parties involved must understand when you are available for work or family time in order for you to implement an effective freelance schedule in 2015.
4. Establish Working Hours
After you understand your clientele, your own methods and personal boundaries, you need to establish clear working hours. Your clients must know that you have boundary lines put into place for when they can contact you. Additionally, you need to learn how to adhere to those working hours and not become a freelance workaholic. You can establish hours on a per project basis or have set hours that encompass all of your client’s work. Whichever route you decide upon, you need to be honest and realistic during the planning in order to maintain an effective freelance schedule in 2015.
5. Establish Your Services
Most likely all of your services have already been established. However, as you are planning your freelance work schedule for this year, you may need to re-evaluate what services you are offering and your methods of operation. Remember, the goal here is to become as effective as possible in how you schedule your contracting work for the new year. This step is listed as number five to complete because as you review the services, you should be processing your clientele, your methods, personal boundaries and working hours. When all these factors are taken into consideration, you will be able to create that effective schedule which carries you on to contracting success.
6. Take Action & Implement the Schedule
The final step involves taking action and implementing the schedule. Creating an effective schedule only works to the maximum potential if it is successfully implemented and maintained. Adding your work projects into a schedule calendar helps you to remember all of your daily tasks and eliminates the possibility of forgetting anything. In my freelance contracting business, I utilize Google Calendar with access through my Gmail account. It is an excellent way to create a daily work schedule, add your personal appointments and have others access the calendar as needed.
When making 2015 the best year possible for your freelance contracting business, it is important to implement an effective and realistic schedule. Remember to follow the six steps as outlined in this article to ensure that you maintain the schedule and perform your work successfully in this new year.